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Whole Foods 3Q income up 23%


AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Market reported that sales for the third quarter increased 2% to $1.9 billion. Comparable-store sales decreased 2.5% versus a 2.6% increase in the prior year. Identical- store sales, excluding nine relocations and two major expansions, decreased 3.8% versus a 1.9% increase in the prior year.

For third quarter, income from operations increased 23% to $78.9 million. The company's effective tax rate was 41.0%, income available to common shareholders was $35 million, and diluted earnings per share were 25 cents.

"We believe we are continuing to strike the right balance between sales and gross margin while exhibiting strong cost control, producing a 23% increase in income from operations. We also generated $93 million of free cash flow, ending the quarter with $448 million in total cash and $335 million available on our credit line," said John Mackey, chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Whole Foods Market.

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